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In Drought-Prone Sahel, Scientists Roll out Innovative System for Producing Vegetables

ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2010)

In Drought-Prone Sahel, Scientists Roll out Innovative System for Producing Vegetables

ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2010)

With a major famine unfolding in Niger and other countries of West Africa’s dry Sahelian region, an agricultural scientist speakingat the African Green Revolution Forum announced new progress in disseminating an innovative system for irrigated vegetable production — a valuable option in a region that is highly dependent on subsistence rainfed cropping.

Referred to as the African Market Garden, the new system will be implemented with about 7,000 small-scale farmers at 100 locations in Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal, with the aim of extending the success of 3,000 gardens already established in countries of the Sahel during recent years. Support for the expansion comes from the governments of Israel, Italy, Switzerland and the USA and from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, and various international foundations and NGOs.

The centerpiece of the new system is a, low-pressure drip irrigation unit, which is installed in a field that comprises clusters measuring 500 square meters. The African Market Garden drastically reduces one of the main limitations of traditional vegetable growing — its excessive labor and energy requirements, which account for three-fourths of the operating costs of traditional market gardens, the ICRISAT scientist said.

"The African Market Garden combines efficient drip irrigation to save water, energy and labor with improved crop management to boost farmers’ vegetable yields and economic returns," said Dov Pasternak with the Niger hub of the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), which is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 18 novembre 2011, mise à jour le 4 août 2014